“Just who is this mystery man? Who is Vorelando Jones? Well that’s what the vore world has been asking for the last few months since he burst onto the scene and committed to Voregia State.”
Kobe and Vorelando were watching the morning sports show in their room as they ate breakfast, noodles and nice brand hot sauce.
It had been several months since the finals in Crackremento and the two of them had decided to commit to Voregia State University. They had chosen Voregia State for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, its vore program was well renowned, with 3 of the 52 current state champions being alumni, a number only bettered by Harvored.
Secondly, it was far away from Calivornia, a place that Vorelando was no longer very welcome.
“I think he’s all hype tho.” One of the ‘analysts’ on TV said.
“Kid walks on in Crackremento, gets one lucky win and suddenly we want to anoint him as vore’s next big thing? It’s crazy to me, if Clark Eaton doesn’t have an all time collapse, we ain’t talking about this dude right now.”
Kobe snatched up the remote and hit the off button.
“Enough of that crap.”
He slurped up the rest of his noodles quickly and tossed the cup into their already overflowing bin.
“Hurry up we’re going to be late.”
Vorelando began rushing his noodles in turn.
Today was the day of their Voreientation. They’d already been on campus for a week but that was just time used to get used to the place, meet their fellow students.
Not that they’d done any socializing. The two had been in the gym all week bulking up and getting as fit as they possibly could be.
The reason they’d done this was because of a warning they’d received from Vorge. He’d told them that all of the top colleges accepted far more athletes into their program than they actually expected to remain in that program.
“If you aren’t better than the guy standing next to you, how can you expect to break into the pro game?” He had said to them.
He wasn’t privy to by exactly which means it would happen but the boys knew, that some stage early in their course, there would be a culling of talent.
Vorelando finished his noodles and shot the cup like a basketball towards the bin. It hit the garbage on top and bounced off.
“Nice shot, loser.”
“It would’ve gone in if you’d emptied it like you were supposed to.”
“It’s your week to empty it.”
“No, we agreed you were gonna do it first.”
“Come on we’re going to be late.”
Kobe waltzed out the door, leaving Vorelando by himself.
“Hey, wait up!”
The two had been informed that they were to be in the event hall at 9 am sharp today. Kobe was meticulous, so he’d planned it that they’d arrive at 9 on the dot.
As the two walked into the event hall lobby, they were met with an unexpected sight. When Vorge had said they accepted more than they meant to keep, both had assumed that meant there’d be 20, maybe 30 people to be culled down from. There were easily over a hundred people here, and this was just the men’s section, women’s voreienteering didn’t start till 12.
“What the hell is all this?” Vorelando asked.
“Voregia State has always been a competitive school, I guess this is how.”
Suddenly the sounds of a siren blaring called everyone in the room to attention.
“Please enter the main event hall.” A robotic voice said through the speakers.
Everyone filed in from the lobby and took one of the seats that had been set up in rows across the hall. A huge red velvet curtain surrounded the arrangement. Something huge was behind it but no in the room one could tell what.
“This is the sorry sack of shit they’re calling ‘new talent’ this year?”
The second everyone had taken their seat, a voiced boomed from the doorway they had just come in. It came from a wheelchair bound man, missing both legs from the knee down. Even though he was sitting, he was still taller than most of the people in the room. He was well over 7 feet tall back when he could still stand.
“Who is that?” Vorelando whispered to Kobe.
“That’s The Latvorian, Kristaps Vorezingis. Latvorian vore champion for 30 years straight until a couple years ago."
“What happened to him?”
Kobe had researched every national vore champion in the world back in high school. He knew Vorezingis was somewhat of a vore unicorn, he had lost both legs in his third title defense but had still won the match. 27 consecutive successful title defenses without the ability to walk was unthinkable but Vorezingis had managed it.
“I am the head of Voregia State’s vore program, you will refer to me as Mr. Vorezingis.”
“Is this a joke?”
One of the freshmen in attendance stood up out of his seat.
“Sit back down.” Vorezingis commanded.
“No seriously, is this a joke? You’re our vore instructor? What the hell are you going to teach us about vore? I came to Voregia state because it was meant to provide me with things that other colleges couldn’t.”
Kobe shook his head silently. It wasn’t a shock to him that he hadn’t heard of Vorezingis, the American vore scene tended to view international vore as lesser. They thought that while there were a few great individual competitors, that the overall level of the competition was lacking. That’s why no one paid attention to it, why legends of the game such as Vorezingis were relative unknowns in American popular culture. This view of global vore was sorely misguided.
Vorezingis stared down the kid for a second and then snapped his fingers. The same moment he did, the kid vanished out of thin air. After a moment screams started emanating from Vorezingis’ stomach but they quickly died out.
Almost everyone in the room went wide eyed, Kobe was one of the few who didn’t. As a student of the game, he recognized one of its most lethal signature moves when he saw it.
“The Vorezingis Snap, what an honour to see it in person.”
Vorezingis turned to Kobe and smiled “It seems at least one of you did your homework.”
His expression turned serious again and he turned back towards the room.
“Anyone else here think this is a joke?”
Everyone in the room shook their head furiously.
“Good! I don’t want to waste any more time.”
Vorezingis wheeled himself up to the front of the seats as the doors were locked behind him from the outside.
“All of you, get this through your heads. Potential is not the same thing as ability. We don’t offer scholarships based solely on ability. Who knows which one of you might’ve crawled out from under a rock over the summer and put in the work needed to make it at the highest level. Some of you weren’t even respected in your local scenes and yet, here you are.”
Vorelando could feel the eyes bearing down on him from all over. ‘Some of you’ in this case meant him.
“Vore at the highest level requires a lot of things. Ability, yes, but also, commitment, confidence and ruthlessness, just to name a view. You need to have more than just a vore body, you must also develop a vore mind.”
Vorezingis started rolling his wheelchair over to the big golden rope hanging from the ceiling that operated the curtains.
“There are 136 people in this room right now, not including me. Vore isn’t some sissy team sport, its an individual’s game. There aren’t even 100 state championship belts available in this country, some of you should not have accepted your invitations, you know who you are.”
Vorezingis yanked down on the rope and the curtains fell to the floor. Everyone gasped as what was behind it was revealed. A jungle gym as big as an amusement park stretched across the entire hall and well beyond it, with narrow corridors connecting parts of it through windows to even more outside.
The mechanical sounds of saws, pistons and indecipherable machinery started whirring as the death traps contained within got warmed up.
“Welcome to the Jungle Gym! No fun, no games, just vore! Anyone who wants to continue on this course will enter and fight for their goddamn place!”
Panicked murmurs started up amongst some of the crowd.
“Silence! If you have reservations about doing this, then you don’t have the balls to make it in vore!”
That shut everyone up. Vorezingis pressed a button on his wheelchair and a countdown timer reading ’30:00’ appeared on one of the monitors attached to the outside of the jungle gym.
“You have thirty minutes to get your ass in there and find a starting position. If you’re scared of the prospect, then don’t get out of your seat! Anyone still in their seat by the time the countdown ends will be allowed to transfer to one of the supplementary courses, 30 minutes in a chair should be good practice for you pencil pushing types!”
Kobe stood up immediately. Vorelando and a dozen or so other followed just after.
“The rest of you! No matter how many of you go in there, no matter how long it takes to whittle you down, only five of you are ever coming back out.”
The crowd started shouting, some of those who had stood up confidently hesitated and slowly sat back down. 5 was certainly lower than anyone in the building had anticipated but to people like Vorelando and Kobe, it made no difference.
They were ambitious, they were all fighting for top spot for one reason or another. Even if 10, 20 or 100 people were allowed to continue from this point forward, the weak would be eliminated eventually. Even the strong must lose to the strong in the cutthroat world of vore.
Vorezingis pressed the button on his wheelchair again and the countdown started.
"Alright boys, show me what you got!"